This book presents a collection of essays honoring Professor Harry Heft, a leading figure in the field of ecological psychology, engaging critically with his work, thought and influence.

Containing 12 chapters written by leading experts from philosophy and psychology, this text critically examines, questions, and expands on crucial ideas from Heft concerning the nature of cognition, its relationship to the body and the environment (including the social and cultural environment), and the main philosophical assumptions underlying the scientific study of psychological functions. It elaborates on the notion of affordance, and its connection to social, cultural and developmental psychology, as well as on the application of Roger Barker’s eco-behavioral program for current psychology and cognitive science. The book includes an extensive interview with Heft, where he reflects about the history, challenges and future of ecological psychology. Finally, it presents a chapter written by Heft, that offers a systematic response to the critical feedback.

Given the increasing popularity of ecological psychology and the highly influential work of Harry Heft in related areas such as developmental, social and cultural psychology, and philosophy, this book will appeal to all those interested in the cognitive sciences from a scientific and philosophical perspective. It is also a must read for students of psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science departments.

chapter |9 pages


ByVicente Raja, Miguel Segundo-Ortin, Manuel Heras-Escribano

chapter 1|13 pages

Reflections on ecological psychology

An interview with Harry Heft
ByErik Rietveld, Julian Kiverstein

chapter 2|14 pages

The social constitution of ecological psychology in the Netherlands

ByRob Withagen, Ludger Van Dijk

chapter 3|8 pages

Contrary imaginations

Radical empiricism or pragmatism? 1
ByAlan Costall

chapter 4|14 pages

Perception and problem solving

ByEdward Baggs, Sune Vork Steffensen

chapter 5|13 pages

Conceiving the environment from a developmental perspective

Revisiting Roger G. Barker's comparison of Bobby Bryant and Raymond Birch
ByJytte Bang, Sofie Pedersen

chapter 6|14 pages

Agency in behavior settings

A mindshaping perspective on ecological psychology
ByMiguel Segundo-Ortin, Annemarie Kalis

chapter 7|13 pages

Behavior settings, enabling constraints, and the naturalization of social norms

ByVicente Raja, Manuel Heras-Escribano

chapter 8|13 pages

Values, affordances, and agency

Giving heft to ecological accounts
ByBert H. Hodges

chapter 10|13 pages

Humanizing ecological psychology

Heft's incorporation of the sociohistorical into perceiving and acting
ByKerry L. Marsh, Benjamin R. Meagher

chapter 11|11 pages

Understanding the child's environment

ByJustine Hoch

chapter 12|30 pages

Toward a psychological ecology

ByHarry Heft